Farmhouse Kitchen makes its Peninsula debut with new Menlo Park location

Thai restaurant Farmhouse Kitchen has found a new home in Menlo Park.

On Wednesday, chef-owner Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang and co-owner Ling Chatterjee launched their soft opening, where they have begun to offer indoor and patio dining in addition to takeout and delivery.

An imaginative interior has been set up inside the space at 1165 Merrill St. where golden chandeliers hang over a long dining table and colorful flowers adorn the walls.

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Regulars of the Oakland and San Francisco locations know that the attention to detail inside the restaurant transfers over to the food itself. The Menlo Park location will have a similar menu to the Oakland and S.F. locations; you can find its vibrant blue rice served with the popular Hat Yai fried chicken.

The Farmhouse Kitchen in Menlo Park will be the fifth restaurant for Saengsawang and Chatterjee. They also have a location in Portland and a Farmhouse Kitchen Express in San Leandro. According to Palo Alto Online, owner Saengsawang plans to be present at the Menlo Park location after recently moving to the area.

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The opening also comes about a week after San Mateo County moved into Tier 2 of California’s four-tired color system. Indoor dining has been reintroduced to the county after banning it earlier this summer. Restaurants can now accommodate diners indoors at 25% capacity.

Farmhouse Kitchen will be open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch. Dinner service begins Monday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Weekend hours are Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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San Francisco’s Farmhouse Kitchen opens glitzy Thai restaurant in Menlo Park, indoor dining included | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany

San Francisco Thai restaurant Farmhouse Kitchen has opened a glitzy new location in Menlo Park, offering limited indoor and outdoor dining, takeout and delivery.

Farmhouse Kitchen has revamped the 4,000-square-foot space at 1165 Merrill St., across from the Caltrain station, decking it out with opulent decorations (including handmade gold Thai chandeliers and flower wall), a private dining room, a lounge area with velvet chairs and gleaming full bar. The restaurant opened barely a week after San Mateo County announced that indoor dining could resume at 25% capacity or with 100 people, whichever is fewer.


The ornate dining room at Farmhouse Kitchen in Menlo Park. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.

But the “new normal guidelines” for dining in at Farmhouse Kitchen includes a health screening, temperature check, masks required when diners aren’t eating or drinking and parties of no more than six people with reservations capped at 90 minutes. The restaurant also charges a $3 “COVID-19 sanitation fee” per table.

Kasem Saengsawang, a native of Thailand, opened his first Farmhouse Kitchen in San Francisco in 2015. The restaurant was inspired by the food he ate and cooked growing up in Loei, a rural province in northeast Thailand, but he spent much of his adult years in Bangkok.

Saengsawang now runs five restaurants, including one in Portland, Oregon. He recently moved to Menlo Park so plans to be a frequent presence at this location.


A Farmhouse Kitche appetizer: sesame-crusted ahi tuna with cucumber, seaweed salad, lemongrass and spicy chili lime. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.

Saengsawang describes his cooking style as “contemporary.” The Farmhouse Kitchen Menlo Park menu spans Northern and Southern Thailand, including dishes like pineapple fried rice, lobster pad thai, 24-hour beef noodle soup and slow-braised short rib served with panang curry, a dish the menu says is “reminiscent” of the large childhood meals Saengsawang would cook in Thailand for his family.


The “Little Lao table set,” a $120 chef’s choice meal set that includes numerous dishes and drinks, is available at the Menlo Park location. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.

Desserts include mango sticky rice, Thai tea crepe cake and the very Instagrammable “Thai vacation,” a halved coconut filled with sticky rice, coconut ice cream, coconut cream, peanuts and sesame, garnished with a brightly colored drink umbrella.

The Menlo Park restaurant also serves cocktails, beer and wine.

Farmhouse Kitchen is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.

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